Is Michigan Avenue Losing its Haute Couture Luster?


Michigan Avenue, long known as one of the nation’s premier destinations for luxury shopping, has experienced a shift as the epicenter for high-end retail stores. “The Avenue”, a street synonymous with luxury shopping in Chicago, has in recent months experienced high-end boutique shops moving away from this longtime location and building a heavier presence just west at the intersection of Rush and Oak Streets, in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. This has been a natural progression as Michigan Avenue is tapped out on viable options for retailers looking for smaller floor plates—those more fitting of couture shoppes.

Several high-end retailers have identified this trend along Michigan Avenue, and, in anticipation, planted footing along Oak & Rush Streets in the Gold Coast submarket. With proven success, now other luxury stores are moving into the area, further driving the high-concentration of luxury shopping houses.

In recent years, Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabanna, Sandro and Maje opened just off the intersection. More recently, Dior, Versace and La Perla have announced they will join the crowded mix of haute couture.

“To secure a flaghship location, many of the world’s most exclusive brands in luxury are setting their sights towards Oak and Rush Street to accomplish a presence synonymous with their brand’s luxurious and high-end identity,” said Todd Siegel, first vice president for CBRE. “All of this contributes favorably as Chicago looks to continue making its mark on the global luxury retail scene.”

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